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Experts say flood prevention work in Looe would cost £10m

By CGMikeS  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

Sheryll Murray MP, Dan Rogerson MP and Environment Agency reps discuss flooding issues in Looe yesterday.

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WORK to solve the ongoing problem of flooding in Looe would cost more than £10m, experts say.

Looe is one of the most badly affected towns in the county, with up to 40 properties suffering with flooding issues.

An Environment Agency coastal engineer, Nick Ely, said that staff could not get full government funding for such work, but they were also looking at "a range of solutions" to lessen the impact of flooding.

South East Cornwall has taken a battering over the last few days, with the worst storm in 20 years taking its toll.

Severe floods hit Looe on Thursday night, with less serious flooding Friday night and yesterday morning.

On Friday morning shopkeepers on Fore Street reported up to four inches of water throughout their premises.

Yesterday Sheryll Murray MP and Dan Rogerson MP visited Looe where the pair were also joined by experts from the Environment Agency to look at options and defences put in place by local people.

Looe floods on average twice a year, and although Mr Ely said it’s certainly one of the “highest-risk” communities, government funding is difficult to obtain because it doesn't affect a huge number of homes.

"It would cost upwards of £10m and at the moment the system for allocating funding means we could only get half of that from the government, unfortunately,” Mr Ely said.

"It could be five to 10 years before we could come up with a big, comprehensive solution for this."

The community are being urged to work with the agency on schemes which reduce the impact of flooding.

Mr Ely said said: "We're looking at a range of solutions, trying to satisfy the needs of householders, businesses and fishermen.

"We can look at trying to stop water coming up over sea walls, sealing underneath the quay and trying to dampen the effects of waves."

There are currently 12 flood alerts in Cornwall, and although lower tides today have reduced the risk of coastal flooding, additional rainfall following on from the recent wet weather means that the public should be aware of an increased risk of both surface water and river flooding, as well as disruption to transport.

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  • KesTFal  |  January 06 2014, 11:02PM

    £54 million a day paid to the EU and billions paid in foreign aid to countries with space programmes, nuclear weapons and state of the art fighter jets. Looks like the government doesn't think we are worth it? Need I say more? Peter G Brooksbank UKIP

    |   -1
  • DipStick  |  January 06 2014, 11:12AM

    @toffer99: if you believe the floods are at all linked to GW then you really need to get out more and not just read the Guardian! As for Looe, from the article it seems like there is flooding because these houses/businesses are more or less at sea level (not read up on it so this could be wrong of course) so I'm not at all surprised to find that the council/government won't "cough up" for the works. If I bought a house in this position I'd make sure I knew what the risk was and live with it (or not - by not buying it). DS

    |   10
  • hello_world  |  January 06 2014, 9:03AM

    The easiest solution is to fund the scheme by attaching a debt to every home that would benefit from the scheme. After all they chose to live in a flood risk area.

    |   -7
  • wringer  |  January 05 2014, 7:02PM

    so if the treasury puts in half and Cornwall council use the £3,000,000 they subsidise the airport with each year that means in 2 years there is enough money to carry out the works. by not doing it what the govt and cornwall council are effectively saying is Looe isn't worth it. bet that makes them all down there feel good. if it were truro or Falmouth I bet the money would be found. its all a matter of priorities. the money is there its just no one chooses to spend it on SE Cornwall. they prefer to subsidise the airport, give it to Smits pit or spend it on the opera in London or whatever pet arts project the SE of the country currently has.

    |   6
  • toffer99  |  January 05 2014, 5:45PM

    Well the Environment Secretary doesn't believe in global warming, so these floods can't be happening. Consequently the government is going to cut 1500 jobs in flood prevention from the Environment Agency. Just take a deep breath when the water starts rising. A very deep breath.

    |   -7